About makasaysayan

A political organization encouraging history lovers, specially young men and women. Hopes to engage members in actively debunking myths and unjustly written historical events. Promotes heroes and leaders who fought against imperialism and colonizers. Propagates peoples' struggles for independence and freedom. Engages in the making of history.

The US is the Real Warmonger

warmongerThe imperial agenda of the United States has wreaked havoc across the globe – economically, politically and socially. Millions have died and are threatened through its diabolical machinations including the funding of terrorists as well as unlawful interventions and militarization.

Global Research has compiled some articles that showcase the destructive foreign policy of the US.

 

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Is the Socialist Dream in Latin America Vanishing?

By Melissa Gracia Lanuza

First Part

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Cristina and Nestor Kirchner in a rally in Buenos Aires (theguardian.com)

The leftist governments in Latin America are falling,” say some US publications.

Some comments on news about Latin America, especially in South America, are even more shocking than the title of this article.he leftist governments in Latin America are falling,” say some US publications.

“Socialism in South America is falling.”  And, this follows, “This confirms that the socialist system is not really an advanced system.”

These comments refer to the successful change of governments in Argentina and Brazil into governments that support neoliberalism, the loss in the referendum of the proposition to allow President Evo Morales of Bolivia to run again for reelection, and, the teetering government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.  We may also add President Rafael Correa’s decision not to run in the next election (2018).

The process is not yet complete and the world is watching for their final outcomes.  Clearly, the governments and movements that declared unequivocally their socialist direction and even those that merely effected steps to curb poverty are facing serious challenges.  In these challenges, we can see through the limitations and shortcomings of their earnest effort, but most importantly, imperialists and their local cohorts have not stopped their devious schemes against the peoples’ struggle.

 

The finished Kirchner government of Argentina

The Kirchner couple led Argentina as presidents, one after the other, from May 25, 2003 to November 2015.  Kirchner came first and he did not seek reelection in 2007.  His wife Cristina ran for president and won.

Nestor Kirchner belonged to the Justicialist Party, a Peronist party.  The Justicialist is a faction of the Frente para la Victoria (FPV) or Front for Victory.  People usually consider the Justicialist Party as centrist although they regarded it more as left-of-center when Kirchner was president of the country and chairman of the party.

He implemented populist policies and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner carried on until 2012.  According to the International Monetary fund (IMF), “the Argentine economy grew by 94% between 2002 and 2011.”  They achieved one of the biggest improvements in the living standards in Latin America.  They implemented programs for wealth distribution.  They reduced poverty by 70% and lowered the unemployment rate. They obtained a restructuring of Argentine’s foreign debt and resumed payment of 76% of US$82 billion in 2005.  It requested two more times for restructuring, made arrangements for payment of debts and paid 93% of the total foreign debt.  On the other hand, Kirchner proposed to Congress, and this became a law, the transfer of almost $30 billion private pension holdings to the social security system.

They did a great deal in running after the perpetrators of abuse and state terrorism during the reign of fascism in Argentina.  Nestor Kirchner reorganized the Armed Forces and repealed the controversial amnesty law that protected those involved in the crimes of the dictatorship in 1976–1983.

In 2008, Fernandez de Kirchner introduced Resolution 125, to adopt a “sliding tax system” that would raise the taxes of soybean and sunflower exports from 35% to 44%.  She wanted to raise government funds for social investments considering that the world prices of grains rose, and, to encourage farmers to plant wheat and corn instead of producing for export like soybeans.

For the farmers, export tax was already exorbitant hence, producers’ associations went on strike.  Thousands of farmers protested in front of the presidential palace and even in other towns.  These became violent. A camera of the media caught a former government official, who was close to the Kirchners, punching a protester.

A rally organized by the government led by La Campora, a youth organization led by the Kirchner couple’s son responded to the protests.  Fernandez de Kirchner’s popularity plummeted.  Some members of the ruling FPV spoke against the government.  The economic minister resigned.  The government was forced to withdraw the resolution.

During the mid-term elections in June 2009, the FPV won an absolute majority in the two houses of Congress.  It lost 24 seats in the lower house and four in the Senate.

Fernandez de Kirchner launched the universal child benefit plan (Spanish: Asignacion Universal por Hijo) as a way of combatting poverty.  Its targeted beneficiaries were five million children and youth.  Many praised this program for having raised school attendance and reduction of poverty of families.

Argentina’s economy, however, slowed and reached a recession starting 2012.  Inflation rose.  Prices of commodities, especially cash crops went down.  The people felt the impact of this development especially because one-third of the export products of Argentina are agricultural products.  The government though, did not remove its intervention hence the crisis did not hit the people very hard.

Fernandez de Kirchner was accused of many wrongdoings like corruption, embezzlement, unexplained wealth.

Despite this, Fernandez de Kirchner remains popular up to this day.  She could no longer run for president for the third time, according to the Argentinian Constitution.  They could not have the Constitution amended because they did not have a supermajority in the Congress, a requirement for it to decide on the matter.  And so, they decided to let Daniel Scioli, also a member also of FPV, vice president of Argentina from 2003 until 2007 and governor of Buenos Aires from 2007 until 2015.

It was clear, though, that Scioli and his party were not able to make use of the Kirchners’ reputation and achievements to win the votes of the greater majority of the people.  Mauricio Macri, former mayor of the city of Buenos Aires, a clear supporter of neoliberalism and a former agent of the CIA, according to Wikileaks, defeated him.

 

Dilma Rousseff’s suspended presidency

Dilma Rousseff was the minister of energy during Luis Inacio Lula da Silva’s presidency, who later became his Chief of Staff.  She was primarily responsible for the expansion of the electrification program in the rural areas of Brazil during Lula’s time that additionally served more than three million families.

Although she was a former Marxist revolutionary who belonged to the Comando de Libertaҫᾶo Nacional or COLINA and later to the Vanguardia Armada Revolucionaria Palmares or VAR Palmares, Rousseff supported and continued, in general, Lula’s reformist and populist policies and programs.  Among these are the campaign to end hunger, which Fome Zero or No Hunger and the Bolsa Familia or Family Allowance, the biggest program in Brazil to help poor families, bannered.  Rousseff placed these under an overall program called Brazil sem Miseria or Brazil without Misery.

The Fome Zero includes the making of cisterns in the desert-like parts of Brazil, steps to fight teenage pregnancy, the development of family agriculture and the distribution of minimum cash to the poor.

The Bolsa Familia is conditional cash transfer.  Bolsa Escola or school allowance has existed from the time of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (2001).  Lula expanded it.  He added allowance for food and cooking gas.

To effectively implement this, they established the Ministry of Social Development and Eradication of Hunger.  The government has budgetary allocation for Fome Zero and it receives from the private sector as well.  The Bolsa Familia became popular in the entire world and many states copied it (World Bank 2016 Report, p.vii).  Within Brazil, however, some people attacked Lula and Rousseff, alleging that they were just using Bolsa Familya to court votes.

Rousseff continued the Minha Casa Minha Vida (My House, My Life), a housing program that started in 2009 to respond to the housing needs of seven to 10 million families that live in the favelas (slums) or with their relatives.  Its implementation accelerated during Rousseff’s presidency.  Many believe that the government’s allotting of big amounts for social services was the primary reason why she won again as president in the election of October 26, 2014. This was also due to the following steps: 1) The deduction of federal tax from the electric bill and removal of the federal tax on consumer products like meat, milk, beans, rice, flour, potatoes, tomatoes, bread, sugar, coffee, cooking oil, butter and apples and 2) The lowering of the overnight rate set by the Central Bank of Brazil.[i]

While some regard Rousseff’s win as privatization’s and neoliberalism’s loss, Rousseff and Lula did not really dismantle privatization and neoliberalization that President Cardozo’s presidency effected especially in the field of steel milling, telecommunications and mining.   This worsened after Lula’s term and further, during Rousseff’s period.

According to a study on the showing of Brazil’s economy in 2011–2014, the government of Brazil hinted that it has given up the idea of giving public investment the key strategic role in development.  In its place, it decided to proceed with public-private partnerships through infrastructure concessions with favorable conditions for investors (Serrano & Summa, 2015, p.21).

After 2012, Rousseff’s government went ahead with the granting of big tax breaks and social security exemptions from the payroll of companies in the different business sectors in its attempt to make private investments and exports grow.  Aside from these, it gave tax breaks for producers of durable goods as a step in boosting consumption; it gave exemption from import duty for capital goods bought and it gave other subsidies to drive innovation (Ibid.).

Rousseff’s popularity, however hadn’t waned until the so-called Petrobras scandal came out, early 2015.  This is a case involving paying kickbacks, money laundering and corruption; and because this happened when Rousseff was board member of the board of directors of Petrobras, her enemies accused her of manipulating government accounts even if they cannot show evidence of her involvement or knowledge.  A few scores of thousands of residents held demonstrations, March and April 2016.  Rousseff’s approval rating plummeted (9%) in July 2015.

[i] In general, overnight rate is the rate of interest that big banks use in borrowing and lending among banks in the overnight market.  In most countries, the Central Bank is also involved in the overnight lending market at borrows or lends money to some groups of banks.

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Former US Ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde (www thedialogue org)

Beneficiaries of the Bolsa Familia Program of Brazil  (riotimes.online)

These demonstrations happened at such a time when unemployment was at its worst in five years, inflation was twice the target of the government, wages went down by 5% compared to May 2014 wages, and, estimates said that the GDP will go down by 4% when the House of Deputies opens for Rousseff’s impeachment, December 2015.  The people were angry.

The House of Representatives started the impeachment proceedings on April 16, 2016 and the Senate decided on her impeachment, May 12, 2016.

The House passed, with 367 votes against 137, to go on with Rousseff’s impeachment process.  Rousseff will be suspended until after the trial that will start within 180 days starting May 12, 2016.

Vice President Michel Miguel Elias Temer took over as acting president.  While he ran as Rousseff’s vice president in December 2010, his real political affiliation was with the Domocratic Movement of Brazil.  The economic model he supports is different from that of Rousseff.  He expressed early into his being acting president that he wants to privatize government owned/controlled corporations.

A number of political analysts, writers, academics and Latin American presidents say that Washington is involved in removing Rousseff from the presidency.  Some posit that it is connected to Brazil’s being a part of BRICS that hurt US’s business and political interests.   They usually relate this with Washington’s desire to make the situation in Brazil more favorable for foreign businesses.

Liliana Ayalde’s assignment as US ambassador in Brazil in 2013 reinforced the suspicion of many about the US’s role in the impeachment of Rousseff.  Ayalde was US ambassador to Paraguay from 2008 until the time of the parliamentary coup against President Fernando Lugo.  Ayalde, considered as an expert on soft coups, had written to a colleague about rumors of a possible coup against Lugo long before the actual coup took place.  Besides, Wikileaks released that Temer used to give sensitive information on Lula to the US.

Despite these opinions, Rousseff would not put the blame on anyone from other countries for her impeachment.  “Responsibility lies with the local oligarchy,” she said in an interview by the Independent, June 27, 2016 (Dip, Amaral, Saavedra and Viana).

 Denying a fourth term for Evo Morales

President Evo Morales Ayma, the first indigenous president of Bolivia took office on January 22, 2006.  He got 53.7% of the votes (the one next to him got 28.6%) in the election of December 2005.  His party is the Movimiento al Socialismo-Instrumento Politico por la Soberania de los Pueblos (MAS- IPSP or MAS) or Movement towards Socialism-Political Instrument for Peoples’ Sovereignty).

Bolivia was poorest in South America when Morales became president.  Its economy depended on the extraction of natural resources, especially hydrocarbons.

During his first term, Morales did not alter yet the neoliberal economy of Bolivia.  Although he said that he wanted to nationalize mining, electricity, telephone and railway, and the workers were strongly clamoring for this, he said that the government will not touch foreign companies, for as long as they operate legally.  It expropriated only the Vinto metallurgy plant from Glencore in 2007.

To wipe out poverty, Morales focused on raising taxes of industries in hydrocarbons that foreign companies operated.  As a result, Bolivia received $1.3 billion in 2006, instead of $173 million that it got in 2002 from the extraction of hydrocarbons.

Under Morales’s leadership, Bolivia experienced a dramatic strengthening of the economy and rise in the value of the Bolivarian currency (BOB).  Just after the first year, the government of Bolivia did not have any budget deficit.  While the world was experiencing financial crisis in 2007–2008, Bolivia’s economy was robust thus they were able to build roads in the rural areas and water cisterns in places that needed these most.

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Bolivian President Evo Morales (middle) and other members of the Constitutional Assembly in a ceremony opening the assembly in Sucre, Bolivia (www.gettyimages.com).

They opened many schools.  They campaigned for children to go to schools.  Venezuela was a big help as it offered free schooling for several thousand Bolivian students.  The UNESCO declared Bolivia free of illiteracy in 2009.

Morales vigorously fought discrimination and persuaded indigenous peoples to study and participate in governance.  His government put up universities specifically for indigenous peoples and these were subsidized by the government.  According to estimates in 2008, indigenous peoples comprised 50% of the students enrolled in 11 universities.  They established the Vice Ministry for Decolonization in 2009.  This prepared the law against Racism and Discrimination of 2010 that prohibited the expression of racist views in public and private institutions.

With Cuba’s help, Bolivia opened ophthalmology clinics that treated 100,000 persons every year.  They sent 5,000 scholars in medicine to Cuba.  Bolivia expanded its medical facilities by opening 20 hospitals.  It increased basic medical coverage up to age 25 in 2014 and integrated the use of traditional medicine.

The Bono Juancito Pinto program has been providing poor families with US$29 per month for every small child since 2006.  This has been expanded.  With Renta Dignidad, the government has been providing $344 as a yearly non-contributory pension to the poor over 60 years of age since 2008.  With the Bono Juana Azurduy program, the government has been giving, since 2009, cash transfers to mothers without insurance coverage to improve their capacity to access their medical needs.

The Morales government has distributed hundreds of tractors to farmers.  It has controlled the price of different food stuff and has urged producers to sell to the local market instead of exporting.

A report of the Center for Economic Policy and Research said, “Bolivia grew faster in the past eight years more than at any period within the last three and a half decades.”  Poverty went down by 25% and extreme poverty by 43%, expenses for social services increased by more than 45% and minimum wage increased by 87%.  It is not surprising that the Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean praised Bolivia for being “one of the few countries that reduced inequality (Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean).

Morales has exhaustively attacked imperialism and neoliberalism.  As early as during his first term, his government rejected aid from the World Bank and the IMF along with their attached conditionalities.  It is the first country in the world that dissociated from the Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes that according to Morales, is always siding with multinational companies.  It also declined membership in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).  It started to distance itself from the neoliberal model of the economy towards having a mixed economy.

Morales joined in the forming of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) that advances trade and cooperation among peoples in Latin America.  In the UN, he lambasted President George Bush for waging wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  This infuriated the US although Morales’s move making it a requisite for US citizens visiting Bolivia to secure a visa further enflamed the US. Subsequently, his government refused to give immunity to US soldiers in Bolivia.

Some problems, however, were not very well handled and resulted in complications.  Here are examples:

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A portion of the two million children that the Bono Juancito Pinto Program helped in Bolivia (www.boliviatv.bo).

First, the issues of self-determination

The constituent assembly convened in 2006 to change the Constitution changed the Republic of Bolivia into the Plurinational State of Bolivia.  It described Bolivia as a “plurinational, communal and social unified state.”  The new Constiution laid emphasis on sovereignty over its natural resources, separation of church and state, prohibition on foreign military bases in Bolivia, implementation of a two-term limit in the presidency and allowing limited regional autonomy.  The Constitution mandated that every Bolivian citizen has the right to water, food, free health care, education and housing.

Following the enshrinement in the Constitution of the right to self-determination of nations in a single state, regions in the east pushed for bigger autonomy (2008).  When Morales did not accede to this, the autonomists proceeded to call for Morales’s recall.  With 67.4% of the votes, the recall was defeated, August 2008.

With the defeat in the electoral battle, however, the steps to oust Morales shifted to daring actions.  Especially because big agro-industrialists, and the petroleum and financial elite bank-rolled these groups, they were able to hold a series of mobilizations towards destabilization from September 9 to 16.  They put up barricades, occupied the airport, confronted pro-government demonstrators, police and the armed forces.  They occupied 75 government institutions in Media Luna.[i]

They mobilized the Union Juveňil Cruceňista (Cruceño Youth Union) as thugs, blew up property of state-owned companies, offices of NGOs and mass organizations and conducted armed racist attacks in indigenous communities. The governor of Santa Cruz, Ruben Costas supported them and verbally attacked Morales.  They massacred activists of MAS in Pando.[ii]

The military found reason to control Pando and the moves of rightist opposition finally lost momentum.  Later, it came out that the Office of Transition Initiatives of the USAID gave the $4.5 million fund for the autonomist movement.  Morales accused the US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, of conniving with the autonomists and encouraging civilian strife.  Morales expelled him and the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US.[iii]

The US warned Morales’s government (US State Dept statement), “President Morales’ action is a grave error that has seriously damaged the bilateral relationship…. We regret that President Morales has chosen this course. It will prejudice the interests of both countries, undermine the ongoing fight against drug-trafficking, and will have serious regional implications.”

People’s support for Morales grew.  The organized opposition fragmented.

Second, the workers’ problem

Morales announces a rise in the minimum wage every May 1.  In May 2010, though, Morales announced a general increase in wages of 5% and a 3% increase in the salaries of the police and armed forces.  With this, a minimum of 679 BOB ($96US) would have been added to the workers’ monthly pay, higher by 32 BOB than in 2009. This amount did not satisfy the Bolivarian Workers’ Central (COB), it called for a strike (Chavez, IPS).

A general strike, the first strike during Morales’s presidency, started on May 4.  Teachers, public health workers and miners held a one-day strike on the same day.  The wives of policemen held a hunger strike protesting the small salaries of the policemen.  A rebel group pf leaders of the COB organized this protest.  When the protest was just in front of the Ministry of Labor, 15 strikers were arrested.

[i] Media Luna is a group of four departments in the eastern part of Bolivia.  These departments were Pando, Beni, Santa Cruz and Tarija.  The department is a prefecture led by a governor.  These are divided into provinces.  Bolivia has 112 provinces.

[ii] The Pando massacre or El Porvenir massacre was an ambush in the morning of September 11, 2008 that authorities of the Prefecture of Pando did as a part of a civilian coup aganst Evo Morales.  This ambush killed 13 indigenous protesters from the town of Porvenir marching to the capital of the department of Cobija protesting the actions of the departmental government during a national crisis.  The investigations of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) saw the massacre as a crime against humanity.

[iii] Morales’s government appropriated DEA military arsenal, including airplanes, boats, ground transport vehicles, communications equipment and one thousand M-16 machine guns. .

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The march of wives of policemen in La Paz, Bolivia to occupy the headquarters of a police operational tactical unit, June 21, 2012.

The government did not accede to the demands of the strikers and accused them of acting on instructions of the rightists.  A group of workers accused the executive secretary of the COB of treachery to the workers’ struggle for supporting the government.  Clearly, the main federation of unions, the organization that used to help the government in uniting the workers in support of the government’s programs has been divided.

More workers’ protests followed in August 2010.  Some more in 2015.  The differently abled have been protesting for more than six months now because of the meager government support they are receiving from the government.  They are asking for a $97 monthly assistance.  Workers of Enatex Textile plant are continually protesting against its closure from losses since May 18.  Teachers and health workers’ protests coincided with workers’ protests.

The police have now gone to the extent of using violence (water cannon, teargas and pushing or carrying protesters away).

 

Third, the reduction in the gasoline and oil subsidy

The government of Morales decided to reduce subsidies for gasoline and diesel, one of the items under the government’s social expenses (December 2010).  It appeared that this was an austerity measure for Bolivia.  Prices of fuel and transportation suddenly soared.  Protests spread.  Morales overturned his earlier decision.  He called this “leadership by obeying.”

 

Fourth, the construction of a highway that transverses the TIPNIS

The government announced the construction of the highway that will connect Beni to Cochabamba to further connect the departments of Beni and Pando town to other parts of the country and accelerate hydrocarbon exploration.  The highway, however, will pass through the Isidoro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS).  Environmentalists and members of the indigenous communities living near the park heavily criticized this plan.

The highway will encourage illegal settlements and cause the further destruction of the forests, they said.  Moreover, this purportedly violates the Constitution and the UN Declaration on Indigenous People’s Rights.  Eight hundred protesters marched from Trinidad to La Paz and not long afterwards, they were in violent conflict with the police and supporters of the construction of the highway.  A number got injured.  The controversy drove two government officials and other officials at different levels to resign.

Morales apologized although he blamed the rightists for instigating the unrest.

He passed the Law 180 in October 2011 that forbids further construction while the government continues with the consultation.  The consultation resulted in 55 out of 65 families in favor of building the highway in TIPNIS although these were not without concessions.  Construction started after the 2014 general elections.  In May 2013, the government allowed hydrocarbon exploration in 22 national parks in the entire Bolivia that broadened the environmentalists’ condemnation of the Morales government’s assault on the environment

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Fifth: the fight against corruption pervading in the Bolivian Police Force

The Bolivian policemen protested against the government’s reforms designed to fight the pervasive corruption in the police force.  Police officers raided their offices and burned the records regarding disciplinary cases and demanded higher pay.  Morales’s government gave in.  It cancelled many of the reforms in place and acceded to raise salaries.

Bolivia held a referendum once again in February 2016 to decide whether Morales will be allowed to run again in the 2018 election for another term starting 2019.

Before this, news outlets released articles about Morales’s relationship with Gabriela Zapata who recently became the director for operations of a Chinese engineering company that got a $500 million contract with the government.  They hinted that Morales must have given Zapata the power for the Chinese company to get the contracts, especially because he and Zapata have a child (that CNN has allegedly interviewed).

Morales did not belie the rumors that they indeed had a relationship and a child although he clarified that their son had died.  He went to the extent of asking the government to confirm if their son is alive and to allow him to see the child.  (Morales is not married although he has children.)  No matter his explanation, however, suspicions now taint Morales’s integrity.  Some are now suspecting he might be involved in corruption in government.  A CNN reporter testified, July 21,2016, that Zapata paid the real parents of the child from $5,000 to $15,000 to make the child appear as Morales’s and Zapata’s son to frame up Morales (A CNN reporter, Telesur).

Especially because Bolivia’s economy has slowed down as a result of different factors, some people have grown tired of Morales’s leadership.  And so, the people decided by voting 51% against 49%, they are not giving him another term.  The present vice president, Alvaro Garcia Linera, likewise, can no longer run for another term. K

 

References

  1. Word Bank Group. Revised-v2-SCD-Brazil-Systematic-Country-Diagnostic-Vol-2., 2016pdf
  2. Serrano, Franklin; Summa, Ricardo. Aggregate demand and the slowdown of Brazilian economic growth from 2011-2014.net/documents/publications/brazil-2015-8.pdf
  3. Dip, Andrea; Amaral, Marina; Saavedra,Vera Durão; Viana Natalia . Brazil’s first female leader on trying to clear her name. The Independent. June27, 2016. Web
  4. Sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean follow-up to the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015 and to Rio+20. Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Bogota, 7-9 March 2013.
  5. Chavez, Franz, BOLIVIA: Morales Faces First Workers Protests. International Press Service. May 5, 2010. Web
  6. State department statement on expulsion of ambassador goldberg from Bolivia. US Department of State. September 11, 2008 as cited in http://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Philip%20Goldberg and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Goldberg
  7. CNN Bolivia reporters testify for interviewing Evo’s fake son. Telesur. July 21, 2016

War against Drugs

At the forefront of the program for “change”?

By Lutgardo Paras

 

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National Police Chief Ronald de la Rosa, middle, head of the war against drugs, during the interment of the remains of Senior Inspector Mark Gil Garcia, who died in a drug raid in Antipolo City, August 19, 2016 (Credit Leonito Navales/Philippine National Police, via European Pressphoto Agency).

Change is coming”, was President Rodrigo Duterte’s slogan while still campaigning. He admitted he did not have a platform, unlike other candidates.  What change he was aiming for was not clear.  It was not even clear whether the proposed change to the federal system was the promised change.

Duterte was noisiest when talking about the promise to wipe away criminality especially the trade and use of illegal drugs.  This is perhaps the change.  He set the time limit at three to six (3–6) months.  He was certain, it would be bloody. His campaign talks were bloody;hange is coming”, was President Rodrigo Duterte’s slogan while still campaigning. He admitted he did not have a platform, unlike other candidates.  What change he was aiming for was not clear.  It was not even clear whether the proposed change to the federal system was the promised change.

The more than 1,000 killled in Davao City will reach 100,000 throughout the country in three to six months. There will be no need for prisons. The fishes in Manila Bay will grow fat.”

This campaign pledge by Duterte is now being implemented.  Even before this new administration got into its 100th day, it had boasted about its progress in the war against drugs and criminality.

His speech, “The Fight Will Be Relentless, It Will Be Sustained,” during his inaugural on June 30, was a formal declaration of war against drugs. But he said the following in that speech:

“… the problems that bedevil our country today which need to be addressed with urgency, are corruption, both in the high and low echelons of government, criminality in the streets, and the rampant sale of illegal drugs in all strata of Philippine society and the breakdown of law and order. True, but not absolutely so. For I see these ills as mere symptoms of a virulent social disease that creeps and cuts into the moral fiber of Philippine society.”

These ills, according to Duterte are:

“Erosion of faith and trust in government—that is the real problem that confronts us. Resulting therefrom, I see the erosion of the people’s trust in our country’s leaders; the erosion of faith in our judicial system; the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people’s lives better, safer and healthier.”

Towards the end, Duterte went back to the war against drugs and crimes.  He asked Congress for more powers and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), for understanding.  This was how he said it:

In this fight, I ask Congress and the Commission on Human Rights and all others who are similarly situated to allow us a level of governance that is consistent to our mandate. The fight will be relentless and it will be sustained.”

After this request, he said something that seemed to confirm that he knows the law. “As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, I know the limits of my power and authority as president.  My adherence to due process and rule of law is uncompromising.”

But he followed this with a line that is contradictory rather than consistent with the  principle of separation of powers and system of checks and balances: “You mind your work and I will mind mine.”  He is sending the message that no one can intervene in what he does.  This was a warning he mentioned earlier that he wants it to take effect now.

Duterte’s statements that make a travesty of the legal system followed. In one instance, he told his fellow law graduates from San Beda College, “Ang due process ay sa korte. Hindi ninyo mahahanap ‘yan sa akin.” (“Due process is in the courts. You will not find it in me.”) 

War against drugs and criminality and the return of the death penalty on top of the continuing neo liberalization of the economy

At last, the new administration had drawn its direction before its inauguration.  His economic agenda was drawn as he was forming his Cabinet.  It is basically a continuation of the macroeconomic policies of recent Aquino administration.

This includes widening the scope of the Pantawid-Pamilyang Pilipino Program (PPPP); increasing the budget for infrastructure through the public-private partnership; a more favorable climate for foreign investors through charter change; tax reform; and so forth.

Duterte’s immediate priority, however, is the war against drugs and criminality.

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Some of the illegal drug users and pushers who surrendered have sworn to change in front of policemen and officials of the LGU in a city in Metro Manila (www ibtimes com)

He confirmed during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), that his focus will be on the “ceaseless and sustained fight” against drugs.  This was at the start and towards the end of his speech.

Indeed, illegal drug trade and use and related crimes have become a big problem in the Philippines.  Drugs are usually a factor in heinous crimes like rape and ruthless killing.  These are symptoms of poverty, lack of productive livelihood and employment and decadent culture among the people, even among the elite in society.

The Philippines has the biggest “shabu” consumption in the entire East Asia in 2012, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  Almost 20% of the barangays in the whole country have drug cases, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in February 2015.  The same report says 92% of the barangays in the National Capital Region (NCR) have drug cases.  PDEA estimates say that more than three million people in the Philippines use drugs.

Illegal drug trade is an international problem and therefore, to combat this calls for coordination with the United Nations and with other countries.  But then, Duterte treats the war against drugs as an internal matter.

 

Violation of human rights, especially of the right to life and to reform life, in the conduct of the war against drugs

The war on drugs appears to be fruitful.  Around 600,000 users have surrendered and, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), its personnel have arrested more than 10,000.  Most of them need rehabilitation but the country lacks rehabilitation facilities.

Nevertheless, it is bothersome that more than 1,7000 suspected drug pushers, couriers and users were killed from July 1 until August 20, 2016.  More than 700 got killed in PNP operations and more than 1,000 were supposedly killed by vigilantes.

More than 30 are killed every day.  Most, if not all, of those that the PNP and the vigilantes have killed are poor.  They have not been given the chance to defend themselves before the law and reform their lives.

The PNP aims to significantly or much more, totally wipe out the illegal drug problem within six months.  It aims to make 1.8 million or 50% of those allegedly involved in illegal drugs surrender, get arrested or neutralized.  PNP Director “Bato” de la Rosa repeatedly said, the war on drugs of the PNP will be the criterion in evaluating every PNP official’s and personnel’s performance of duty.

Some officials and personnel of the PNP, though, are among the suspects in the illegal drug trade.  Duterte himself named five generals of the PNP (two retired and three still active) who, allegedly, protect drug syndicates.  Aside from them, more than 100 present and former officials in the local levels of government and seven judges are, reportedly, involved in drugs.  Duterte will be naming those in his list, he has announced.

Along with the war against drugs and criminality is the proposal to restore the death penalty.  Duterte even proposed the savage way of public hanging.  Combined with this is the proposal to further lower the age of criminal liability from 17 years old to 12 or even 9 years old.

But even before the debates in Congress on death penalty, this has been imposed on many suspected criminals, particularly those allegedly involved in illegal drugs, without trial.

It is spine-chilling that Duterte went to the extent of directly saying, “I do not care about human rights. Believe me.” This was his response when the media asked him about the fact that most of the drug users that were killed came from impoverished sectors.  And Duterte reasoned out irresponsibly, “The poor who use drugs, are, surely, pushers as well,” It’s like he has meted out death penalty on the poor drug users because a drug user “is, surely, a drug pusher as well.”

This gives the police licence to kill, especially impoverished suspects.  Duterte’s first call strongly encourages the people to conduct “citizen arrest” of pushers and kill them if they resist.

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IDEFEND.   Different people’s groups founded the In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (IDefend), August 12, 2016, to ask the Duterte government not to make the war on drugs that he is pursuing a war against human rights.  IDefend asked the new government to solve poverty, the root of the widespread drug problem.  Kilusan took part in the building of IDefend. (photo: philrights)

Duterte seems power-drunk as he pushes his war against drugs.  Like their reaction to the killings by the Davao Death Squad, Duterte and Bato are oblivious of the grief and protests of the bereaved families and relatives of victims of the war on drug.  Those who question, criticize or comment, like the Commission on Human Rights, Church-people, organizations and personalities that uphold and defend human rights, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Watch are called enemies and protectors of drug syndicates.

Within merely more than a month, Duterte got involved in several controversies with his war on drugs.  His reaction to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was most infamous)  He supposedly joked again about leaving the United Nations in reaction to the comment of the UN special rapporteur.  He is irreverent in accusing and defaming certain persons and institutions, including the United Nations, which to him is obstructing his crusade against drugs.

No matter the rewording or reformulation his spokespersons do to his statements, or Duterte’s saying sorry, he has already done damage. He has put at stake the stature and image of Philippines before the whole world.

Duterte had bared his dictatorial character after CJ Serreno wrote to him.  Serreno’s reminder that the Supreme Court has the sole power over the judges and her directive to the seven judges that Duterte implicated in drugs to not surrender or not go with the police without a warrant of arrest.  Duterte went to the point of threatening to declare martial law.  Though he apologized to the Chief Justice later, Duterte bared his disregard of the Supreme Court’s independence and the authority of the Chief Justice.

The bloody outcome, especially the spate of extra-judicial killings, is alarming and incites anger.  Duterte himself said that human rights consideration and the rule of law is being set aside.   His habitual “kill” word for his so-called “non-humans”, encourages trigger-happy police officers to swiftly finish their operations by killing suspects or to pose as vigilantes that have their own kill-lists.  The police officers that are involved in illegal drugs take advantage of this as well in order to permanently silence both their assets and “competitors”.

Duterte’s assurance to the police that he will defend them if ever Congress, the CHR or courts put them under investigation or if they are sued, bolsters further human rights violations.

The explanation and alibis of the police in operations that resulted in the death of drug suspects is already irritating.  Police reports saying they killed the suspect because, “He attempted to fight” or “He tried to grab our gun,” are incredible.  The storyline, “Found with the suspect was a .38 caliber” or “a.45 caliber” or “a firearm of unknown caliber” are overused.  And, reports don’t forget to mention: “A sachet, of suspected ‘shabu,’ was found in the suspects’ possession.”

While impoverished suspects of drugs get killed, the rich, like Peter Lim, who Duterte himself tagged as a drug lord, are alive and free.  Duterte gave Lim time to clear his name.  The same is true with Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuea, Leyte, who is back on his seat as mayor despite the 11 kilos of shabu and tools and paraphernalia for making explosives that the police found in his house.

Duterte patterned his war against drugs after what he implemented in Davao City in a period much longer than six months.  The vigilante group called Davao Death Squad (DDS) played a prominent role in the anti-drug campaign in Davao but Duterte and the PNP have denied their connection to this infamous group until now.  But during the election campaign Duterte would often brag about the DDS’s record in killing about 1,700 persons.

Despite this, they failed to eradicate the drug problem in Davao City, the PNP Chief Bato de la Rosa himself said.  K

Manggagawa ka ba? Regular ka ba o Kontraktwal? (Usapang Manggagawa sa Araw ni Gat. Andres Bonifacio)

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Ang tutoo,  halos wala nang masyadong kaibahan ang dalawang kalagayan kung ang usapin ay ang katayuan sa ating mga trabaho kaugnay ng karapatan, seguridad at sahod sa ilalim ng sistemang umiiral.

Regular at Kontraktwal

Kung ikaw ay isang regular, mapalad ka nang kaunti dahil maaaring ipinapatupad sa iyo ang labor standards na ayon sa ating batas sa paggawa gaya ng minimum na sahod, walong (8) oras na paggawa, over time pay, 13th month pay, SIL, holiday pay at rest day o isang araw na pahinga sa bawat isang linggong pagtatrabaho. (At may katiting na alwan ang kalagayan kung may unyon dahil may mga benepisyong lagpas sa itinakda ng batas na maaaring makamtan bunga ng mga “labanan,” CBA, halimbawa.

 

Maaring ipinapatupad? Bakit parang may duda? Dahil hindi nakakamit ng maraming manggagawa sa kasalukuyan, naturingan mang regular, pero hindi nakakamit ang mga benepisyong binabanggit dahil sadyang hindi ipinapatupad ng mga switik at gahamang mga employer, dahil, una,  hindi ito alam ng mga manggagawa, at ikalawa, natatakot ang mga manggagawa na mapag-initan sila pag kinuwestiyon nila ang kani-kanilang employer. Nandyan naman sana ang DOLE upang siyasatin ang bawat pabrika sa nasasakupan ng kanilang satellite offices gamit ang kanilang “visitorial power,” ngunit hindi ito nagaganap. Kinakailangan pang sadyain muna sila ng mga manggagawa upang mag-reklamo, na dahilan pa lalo upang pag-initan ang mga ito at tanggalin sa trabaho. Ganyan kalakas ang loob ng mga gahamang employer dahil alam nilang kayang tapalan ng salapi ang mga korap sa pamahalaan. Bukod pa ito sa katotohanang napakalaki ng reserbang manggagawa, sa bawat isang regular na matatanggal, may mahabang pila ng manggagawang gustong pumalit- maamo, mura o tatanggap ng mababang sahod at higit sa lahat, kontraktwal.

Kung ikaw ay kontraktwal ay singhaba lamang ng ilang buwang nilalaman ng kontratang iyong nilagdaan ang haba ng iyong magiging pagtatrabaho.  Ibig sabihin,  sa tuwing matatapos ang kontrata at mawawalan ka na ng hanapbuhay, titigil din muna ang pag-inog ng iyong buhay sa kasalukuyan nating mundong nakatali sa kakarampot na sweldo ang lahat ng ating mga batayang pangangilangan. Ang “kakarampot” na iyan ay kung ipinapatupad sa iyo ang minimum na pasahod na itinakda ng batas, na malamang sa hindi.  ay hindi mo nga natatamasa dahil bilang kontraktwal ay agency ang nagpapasahod sa iyo. At dahil ang kita ng mga agency ay galing din lamang sa porsyentong kinotong sa sahod mo, kulang na ito pagdapo sa mga palad mo.

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Sa umiiral na kalagayan, bago matapos ang isang kontrata, kinakailangang may tinatarget nang malilipatan ang isang manggagawang kontraktwal upang magpatuloy ang buhay niya sa mundo kung saan kontrolado ng mga kapitalista ang bawat buhay mula pagsilang hanggang kamatayan.

Ngunit hanggang kailan? Araw-araw ay humihigpit ang kompetisyon ng mga manggagawang patuloy na lumalago ang populasyon kumpara sa mga trabahong hindi naman nadadagdagan, bagkus ay nababawasan pa nga dahil sa pag-usad ng makabagong mga teknolohiya. Ibig sabihin, sasapit tayo sa edad na hindi na tayo kompetitib at wala nang panama sa papasok na bagong henerasyon ng manggagawa. Paano na?!!

 

Kulang at hindi kailanman sasapat ang sweldo 

Kung ikaw ay minimum wage earner  o sumasahod lamang ng minimum, hindi kaila sa iyo ang kakulangang ito dahil araw-araw natin itong kinakaharap. Aber, gumamit tayo ng kaunting matematiks upang linawin ito. Ang kasalukuyang salary rate para sa NCR ay P492.00. Hatiin o i-divide natin ang P492 sa average na limang (5) myembro ng pamilya (tatay, nanay at tatlong anak) at iluluwal ang halagang P98.40. Muli nating hatiin o i-divide ang P98.40 sa apat (4) na kain (agahan, tanghalian, meryenda at hapunan) at iluluwal ang halagang P24.60. (Hindi pa binabawas diyan ang tax, SSS, Philhealth na kinakaltas sa sahod bago pa man dumapo ito sa ating mga palad)

Malinaw na ipinakita sa ating simpleng kwenta na kulang na ang P492.00 na minimum wage para sa NCR, sa pagkain pa lamang! Paano na ang iba pang pangagailangan tulad ng upa sa bahay, tubig,  ilaw o kuryente, gamot pag may nagkasakit, damit at eskwela o pag aaral ng mga bata? Nakapagtataka pa ba kung bakit may mga manggagawang nakatira sa ilalim ng tulay?; kung may mga batang hindi makapag aral?; kung may mga sunog sa isang urbanisadong barangay na ang sanhi ay napabayaang kandila? Normal na rin

ngayon ang sakit sa bato sa mga bata dahil sa sobrang pagtitipid,  alat ng noodles at sitsirya, na pinakamurang ulam at meryenda ang nakahapag sa mesa sa tuwina.

At pasahod pa lamang sa NCR ang  ating pinag-uusapan. Paano na kaya ang mga taga karatig probinsya at ibang rehiyon na mababang sahod ang  itinakda ng inutil na wage boards sa kabila ng reyalidad na kung hindi man pareho lang ay mas mahal pa ang mga bilihin at serbisyo sa kadahilanang sa Kamaynilaan ang pinanggagalingan ng mga pangunahing produktong ito.

.               Sumagad sa pag-oobertaym ang solusyon ng karamihang manggagawa sa malaking  kakulangang ito, upang humabol ng dagdag na kita— na sa dulo ay tutungo sa sobrang produksyon kaya mauuwi rin sa forced leave ng mga manggagawa dahil “natapos nang gawin ngayon ang gawain sana para bukas.”

Pilit namang aangkop sa sitwasyon ang iba sa paghahanap ng “sideline” o ekstrang pagkakakitaan paglabas ng trabaho— mag pedikab,  maglako ng kung anu-ano, at iba pa, na pangunahin nang trabaho ng napakalaking bilang ng mga wala talagang mga trabaho.  Nangingibang bansa bilang OFW ang marami, samantalang natutulak ang ilan na pumasok sa mga anti-sosyal na gawain— pagpapataya ng huweteng/ending, part-time na pagpuputa at pinakasagad na,  ang pagpasok sa iligal na mga gawain gaya ng pagtutulak ng droga.

Ang solusyon ng gobyerno

Positibong kinikilala na ng gobyerno sa kasalukuyan ang kontraktwalisasyon bilang mayor na problemang pambansa. Nilaman ito ng kampanya ng halos lahat  ng presidentiables  nuong nakaraang eleksyon, bagamat mababaw ang pagtalakay  at tila ba simple lamang talaga sa karamihan ang usapin. Kasama si Duterte sa nagsabing  masama ang kontraktwalisasyon at nangakong ititigil ito.

Ngunit iba na ngayon ang tono,  at ang sinasabi na ni Sec. Bello ay ipatitigil ang “endo”.   Ibig sabihin,  tuloy tuloy na ang mga trabaho at hindi na kinakailangang tumigil at mag-renew ng kontrata ang mga manggagawang kontraktwal tuwing ika-limang (5) buwan. Nauna rito ay inatasan ang mga agency na mag-comply sa sinasabi ng DO 18-A upang maging lehitimong job contractor.

Aba, eh kanino ba tayo ire-regular? Sa tinatakbo ng mga debelopment,  malinaw na sa agency tayo ire-regular at hindi sa principal. Kung magkakagayon,  napaka-bulnerable pa rin ng ating mga kalagayan dahil sa oras na hindi na mabigyan ng kontrata ng principal ang agency ay wala na rin tayong mga trabaho.  Co-terminus ang ating mga panunungkulan sa agency sa kontratang namamagitan sa kanilang dalawa ng principal. Eh sa maraming pagkakataon,  magkaka-kutsaba ang mga iyan. Paano na?

 

Nasa ating mga kamay ang solusyon

Tunay na wala tayo ni katiting na maasahan kahit sino pa ang manungkulan sa Malakanyang sa kasalukuyang panahong malalaking kapitalista ang nangingibabaw. Ang tunay na pagkakamit ng segurado, permanente at trabahong nakalaan at sasapat para sa lahat ay kung lilinangin at gagamitin ng ating pamahalaan ang mga likas  na yaman at lakas paggawa ng bayan sa pambansang industriyalisasyon. Hangga’t wala sa atin ang mga mayor na produksyon na magluluwal ng segurado at maramihang trabaho, walang maaasahan ni katiting na pag unlad ang ating bayan at ang mga mamamayang Pilipino. Hangga’t ang mga pangunahing industriya ay nasa kontrol ng pribado at mga dayuhang kapitalista,lalo’t pinapayagan ang halos lahat ng gustuhin nilang negosyo at patakaran kaugnay ng paggawa,  nganga ang mga manggagawang Pilipino!

 

Pangungunahan ng mga Manggagawa ang laban  

Tama! Bilang pinakaabanteng uri sa lipunan, marapat na tanganan ng mga manggagawa ang tungkulin ng  pagpapalaya sa bayan. Bilang araw-araw na kaharap ng pwersa ng kapital sa ating mga pabrika/planta, araw-araw nating tungkulin ang mag-organisa tungo sa pagpapapalakas ng hanay. Organisahin natin ang mga manggagawa sa mga linya ng industriya, mga unyon o asosasyon, at sa anong porma mang ipapahintulot ng sitwasyon. Oorganisahin natin sila sa mga pabrika, sa mga linya ng gawain (trade skills), at susundan sa mga komunidad upang buuin ang mga asosasyon.

Sa milyong bilang, kasanayan at determinasyon, at sa tamang panahon, kakamtin natin ang kalagayang lahat ay may marangal na trabaho at may makabubuhay na sweldo ang lahat,  pumapasok sa eskwela ang mga bata, may sapat na pagkain para sa lahat. At hindi na kinakailangang iwanan ng mga nanay ang sariling mga anak upang mag alaga ng anak ng iba sa ibayong dagat.

 

Workers for Peoples’ Liberation (WPL)

Nobyembre 30, 2016    

Matatag, Sapat na Trabaho Bayang Progresibo: Mamamayan ang Nagpapasya

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Sa halip na malayang bayan, ipinwersa ng lokal na naghaharing uri at ng kanilang dayuhang amo ang kaayusang neokolonyal sa mamamayan makaraan ang apat na dekada ng tuwirang pananakop ng US. Itinali ang Pilipinas sa utang at mga kondisyon.  Hinadlangan ang pagyabong ng nagsasariling ekonomya at iginapos ito sa walang habas na pandarambong.  Gaya ng kundisyong pinagsibulan ng rebolusyon, nanatili’t higit na lumawak ang agwat sa pagitan ng mayaman at mahirap.Nakalatay sa pambansang ekonomya ang kabiguan ng Rebolusyong 1896. Bigo na ito nang paslangin si Gat. Andres Bonifacio bago bumagsak ang kolonyalistang Espanyol, nawaldas pa nang husto nang ipinagkanulo ito at isuko ng mga elitistang lider ng himagsikan sa imperyalistang Amerkano.

Sa ilalim ng neokolonyalismo, napabilang ang Pilipinas sa mga atrasadong ekonomya sa daigdig.  Makikita ito hanggang ngayon, sa katayuan ng kanyang lakas paggawa— ng mga manggagawang pinagmulan din ng bayaning si Andres:

  • Anim sa bawat sampung Pilipino ay nasa hanapbuhay na impormal at walang tiyak na trabaho o kita—mala-manggagawa at impormal na serbisyo mula sa pagpapandar ng pedikab, vendor ng kung-anu-ano at kung saan-saan, manggagawa sa kontsruksyon, manggagawang bukid at mga indibidwal na diskarte, at iba pa.
  • Katambal nilang bumubuhay sa ekonomya ang 2.4 milyong OFWs, mga kontraktwal na obrero at iilang porsyentong regular na mangagagawa at propesyunal.

contractualization

  • Sasanib sa kanila ang .5 milyong  gradweyt ng kolehiyo at 1.5 milyong sinanay sa mga institusyong teknikal kabilang ang pinatatakbo ng gubyerno gaya ng Tesda nuong 2015. Malaking bahagi sa kanila ang napabilang sa karaniwang 10 milyong walang trabaho taun-taon.
  • 3 % ng 100 milyong Pilipino ang nasa ilalim ng poverty line, kapos kahit sa pagkain.

Ang malungkot,  kailangan pang igiit ang pagwawakas ng kondisyong ito sa gubyernong Duterte.  Sa kanyang mga pahayag at sa aktwal na itinataguyod nitong 10 point economic program, magpapatuloy ang patakarang neoliberal.  Isasagad ito sa planong chacha ng kongreso kasabay ng proyekto sa pederalismo. Itutulak sa gitna ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao bunsod ng gyera sa droga.

Itatambal ito sa pag-oorganisa ng Masa Masid—ang pangmasang organisasyong paniktik na nanganganib na lumikha ng hidwaan sa mga komunidad.

Nangyayari ang lahat ng ito habang may banta sa suspensyon ng writ of habeas corpus at binabaklas sa kasaysayan ang kalupitan ng neokolonyal na sistemang higit na pinabangis ng diktadurang Marcos nang ipasya ni Duterte, sa pagsang-ayon ng Korte Suprema, na ilibing ang diktador sa Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Neoliberalismo ang patakaran ngayon ng pandaigdigang kapitalismo para makaahon sa kumunoy ng nagpapatuloy nitong krisis at patuloy na dambungin ang yaman ng mahihinang bayan.  Tinatanggal ng patakarang neoliberal ang papel ng gubyerno sa serbisyong publiko at iba pang estratehikong negosyo at ipinapaubaya ito sa mga pribadong bangko at korporasyon para pagtubuan.

Mahalagang sangkap na pinaiiral nito ang kontraktwalisasyon ng paggawa at pagbabawal sa pag-oorganisa at pagkilos para bigyan ng ganap na kalayaan ang kapital na idikta at baratin ang sahod at benipisyo ng manggagawa.

Lantad ito sa nakalipas na ilang dekada ng pagpapairal ng neoliberalismo sa Pilipinas.  Sa panahon ni Pres. Noynoy Aquino, kinontrol ng 40 pamilya ang pakinabang sa lokal na ekonomya.

Malaon nang ipinakita ng mga abanteng bayan, kabilang ang mga kapitbayang Asean, na upang maging progresibo ang ekonomiya, kailangang  kumawala sa dayuhang kontrol at mga dikta.  Dapat pagpasyahan ang sariling landas ng ekonomya ayon sa pagpapairal ng soberanya ng mamamayan sa sariling yamang likas at lakas paggawa.

Malaon nang kinilala ang halaga ng kumbinasyon ng modernong agrikultura at industriyalisasyon para sumulong, likhain ang kasapatan sa pagkain at iba pang pangangailangan ng lipunan.  Ito ang pinakamatatag na pundasyon sa paglikha ng sapat at marangal na hanapbuhay para sa mamamayan.

Sa malayang ekonomya, malilikha ang pambansang kapital na dating hinuhuthot at inililipad ng dayuhan.  Magagamit ito sa pag-aangat ng industriya at agrikultura.  Mapaplano ang pagmimina ng estratehikong mineral batay sa pangangailangan ng lipunan. Maiaangat ang sahod ng paggawa.  Mababawasan hanggang sa mapapawi ang pwersadong pangingibang bayan ng mga Pilipino para maghanapbuhay.

Mula sa yamang likha ng lipunan, mapalalaki ang rekurso sa serbisyong publiko.  Mapapalawak ang karapatan sa edukasyon.  Matitiyak ang kalusugan ng mamamayan.  Mapapalakas din ng matatag at malayang ekonomya, at nang sapat ang kakayanang populasyon,  ang kapasidad ng lipunan na ipagtanggol ang sarili laban sa anumang anyo ng dayuhang panghihimasok.

Dito importante ang independyenteng patakarang panlabas. Tiyaking walang tali ang lahat ng mga kasunduang multilateral at bilateral na papasukin ng gubyerno.  Para patunayang independyente at walang kinikilingan, ipagbawal ang anumang anyo ng pagbabase ng dayuhang pwersa sa Pilipinas.

Kung gayon, dapat ipawalang-saysay ng gubyernong Duterte ang EDCA, VFA at ang pinagmulan nitong US-Ph Mutual Defense Treaty.  Kailangan ding mag-ingat sa pagdikit sa China at iba pang lumalakas na kapitalistang kapangyarihan, alang-alang sa interes ng sambayanang Pilipino at hindi para maglipat ng katapatan sa panibagong amo.

Matatag na ekonomiya at nagsasariling estado ang nais itindig nina Bonifacio.  Demokratiko at Soberano. Nakakaraming mamamayan ang nagpapasya.

Sa edad na 29, pinamunuan niya ang pagtatatag ng Katipunan para ipaglaban ang kasarinlan ng bansa at likhain ang kondisyon sa masaganang buhay para sa mamamayan.  Nobyembre 30, 2016  ang  ika-153 guning-taon ng kaarawan ni Gat. Andres. Ipagdiwang natin ito sa higit pang pagpapasaklaw ng kilusang manggagawa at kilusan ng mamamayan para sa tunay na soberanya, demokrasya at kalayaan.

Workers for Peoples’ Liberation (WPL)

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (Kilusan)

Nobyembre 30, 2016

Labanan ang Pagpapanumbalik sa Kapangyarihan ng mga Marcos! Labanan ang Pagbabalik ng Tiraniya!

Marcos Burial Protests

Inilibing ang bangkay ng pasistang diktador Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr., Nobyembre 18, sa Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).  Tulad sa pagnanakaw, inilihim sa publiko hanggang sa mismong oras ng seremonyang puspos sa parangal at ritwal na bagay lamang sa taong nabuhay nang marangal, may integridad, matapat at may natatanging ambag sa pagsulong ng lipunan. Naroon ang mga opisyal ng AFP at PNP at honor guards na nagbigay ng parangal pang-estado at militar (state and military honor).

AFP at PNP ang unang kumumpirma sa media na alam ni Presidente Duterte ang libing, na itinanggi naman ng kanyang mga tagapagsalita sa Malakanyang. Sinabi ni AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla na ang utos ng Department of National Defense (DND), na Nob. 17 nila natanggap, ay tiyak na alam ni Duterte. Mismong si PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa ay nagsabing “tiyak na alam ito ni Duterte sapagkat siya rin ang may tuwirang ugnay sa mga Marcos.” Nang salubungin ng international media si Duterte sa pagdating sa Lima, Peru ay kinumpirma na alam nga niya ang libing at “pamilya Marcos ang nagtakda ng petsa”.

Sinabi ni Duterte na kanyang “ipinapatupad lang ang batas at desisyon ng Korte Suprema”  Subalit ang lihim ngunit marangyang libing ng diktador ay pagsikot sa proseso ng batas at korte. Ipinagkait nito sa mga tumututol ang pagkakataong maghapag ng motion for reconsideration mula Nobyemre 9-23. Garapalang ipinagtanggol g Korte Suprema ang tapos nang libing sa pahayag na “walang batas na nagbabawal na ilibing si Marcos sa LNMB” at “walang apila laban sa libing”.

Malinaw, mula simula, ang kutsabaan Duterte, pamilyang Marcos at 9 na mahistrado ng Korte Suprema. Inilihim ang libing sa taong bayan upang hindi maiwas sa tiyak na pagharang ng mamamayan.  Hanggang sa huling sandali, kataksilan sa bayan ang ipinamalas ng pamilya Marcos na suportado ni Duterte.

Ang utos ni Duterte na pinaboran ng 9 na mahistradong nagsuko at nagbenta ng kanilang integridad at ang biglaang libing ay tahasang pagyurak sa makasaysayang soberanong pasya at akto ng milyun-milyong mamamayan sa buong kapuluan na lumaban at nagwakas sa diktadurang Marcos.

Ang pagrangal na iginawad sa diktador:  pagsundo ng  helicopter ng AFP, pagsalubong at pagpapasan sa balikat ng kanyang kabaong ng mga sundalo, paglalagak nito sa hila-ng-kabayo na (caisson), pagpupugay ng honor guards, pagbalot ng bandila ng bansa sa kanyang kabaong, 21-gun salute at  volley of fire at paglalagay ng cauldron of fire or eternal flame na natatangi sa puntod ni Marcos, ay pagdakila sa tiranong naghari sa loob ng 21 taon, kabilang ang 14 na taon ng lantarang pasistang diktadura.

Pilit na pinalilimot sa mamamayan ang lansakang pagsupil sa mga demokratiko at makataong karapatan; pagdukot at pagpatay sa libu-libong mamamayan; pagtortyur at pagbilanggo sa abot 100,000; panggagahasa sa mga kababaihang inaresto, ibinilanggo o pinatay; pagpapalayas ng daan-daan libong mamamayan sa kanilang mga pamayanan sa kanayunan; pagtatayo ng mga yunit para-militar at mga kampo at detachment ng militar sa halos lahat ng mga baryo/barangay sa kanayunan; pagbaon ng bansa sa dayuhang utang; pagnanakaw at pagtakas ng bilyong dolyar na halaga ng kabang yaman; ginawang “gatasang-baka” ang mga proyektong pang-impraistruktura, ilang ospital at higit sa lahat ang halimaw na plantang nukleyar sa Bataan na hanggang 2007 ay binayaran ng mamamayan ang ginugol dito na utang na $2.2B (bukod pa ang interes nito), na makabuluhang  bahagi ay padulas kay Marcos at komisyon ng crony niyang si Herminio Disini.

Ito ang tampok sa madugo at mapandambong na rekord ng diktador na si Marcos, na iniidolo ni Duterte. Ang palihim ngunit puspos sa parangal na paglibing sa diktador sa LNMB ay pagyurak sa  mahabang pakikibaka ng milyun-milyong mamamayan, na humantong sa pag-aalsang Pebrero 1986, na nagwakas sa diktadurang Marcos. Paglapastangang sa soberanong pasya at aksyon ng mamamayan at pagbaligtad ng kasaysayan ang kahulugan ng “pagbabayad-utang” ni Duterte sa pamilyang Marcos. Bukod dito ang bumubungad na pagpwesto kay Bong Bong Marcos sa kapangyarihan.

May batayan ang pangamba ng marami at ni Bise-presidente Leni Robredo na lulutuin sa Korte Suprema ang kasong isinampa ni Bong Bong Marcos. Kinaray ni Duterte si Bong Bong Marcos sa kanyang pagbisita sa China at doon ipinakilala sa mga Tsino bilang “susunod na bise-presidente ng Pilipinas kung mananalo sa kaso laban kay Leni Robredo”. Higit dito, sinabi rin ni Duterte, sa parehing pagkakataon, na kanyang tinutularan ang idolong Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.

Ilang araw bago ang panakaw na libing, ipinahayag ni Duterte sa harap ng publiko na kanyang “kinokonsidera ang pagsuspinde sa writ of habeas corpus” kapag siya ay “mapuwersa” ng pinapalaki niyang problema sa drugs at ng diumanong “rebelyon”.  Sumunod sinabi rin niya, “ang pagdeklara ng batas militar ay contingency”.

Labanan ang muling pagbalot ng lagim ng malaganap na karahasan laban sa mamamayan at paglulubid ng batayan para sa higit na karahasan

Bumulwak ang malaganap na protesta sa panakaw na libing sa pinarangalang diktador. Pinanariwa nito ang bangungot ng diktadurang Marcos. Binuhay sa ala-ala ng marami ang mga pahirap at iba pang paglabag sa mga karapatan. Ang mga tinortyur at ikinulong noon ay nadaramang muli ang mga pasakit. Ang pag-uulit ni Duterte ng panawagang kalimutan na ang nakaraan at patawarin ang mga Marcos ay pang-iinsulto sa mamamayan.

Sa pagsusulong ng mga protesta hindi dapat mawala na pinatutungkulan din nito ang nagbabantang muling pagbalot ng lagim at karahasan. Huwag mawawaglit na umiiral hanggang ngayon ang “state of national emergency” na ipinataw sa bansa bunsod ng “lawless violence” sa “balwarte” ni Digong na Davao City. Kasama ng PNP ang AFP sa pagpapairal ng “state of emergency”. Kinokondisyon ang mamamayan sa mga “check point” at presensya ng mga “combat ready” na mga pulis at sundalo sa mga publikong lugar tulad sa mga istasyon ng LRT at MRT, mga terminal ng bus at mga pantalan at airport.

Minamanhid ang mamamayan sa araw-araw na pagpatay sa mga “suspek na drug user-pusher” at nakabilanggong “nagtangkang lumaban”. Tahasang sinasabi ni Duterte na wala siyang pagkilala sa human rights at itinuring na kaaway ang bawat magtanong, mag-iimbestiga o magpahayag ng opinyong kontra sa lumalaganap na extra-judicial killing at walang pakundangang paglabag sa due process.

Sa harap nito at sa kabila nito ay iniuulat ng PNP na nababawasan ang kriminalidad! Ano na kung gayon ang depinisyon nila ng kriminalidad? Inuulit-ulit ni Duterte ang malayo sa katotohanang “2-3 pulis ang napapatay sa bawat araw”.  Naglulubid si DOJ secretary Aguirre ng hindi mapapatunayan kaso laban sa mga “kaaway” nila sapagkat nakabatay sa affidavit ng patay na tao o bilanggong drug lord. Isasalang sa Kamara upang bago Pasko ay naibalik na ang “death penalty” at “naibaba na edad na 12 o 9 na taong gulang ang maaaring papanagutin sa kasong krimen”.  Ito ba ang pamasko ni Duterte sa bansa o para sa kanyang sarili?

Kasama ang bantang pagkakalas sa International Criminal Court (ICC), higit pa marahil ang kalagayang “pupuwersa” kay Duterte para “isuspinde ang writ of habeas corpus” at tumungo sa landas na kinahinatnan ng bayan sa ilalim ng paghahari ng kanyang dinadakilang diktador.

Maging alerto at huwag palalampasin ang bawat kontra-demokratiko at sadyang walang katinuang pakana ng kutsabaang Duterte-Marcos.

Huwag hayaang mapawi ang alaala ng malagim na nakaraan!

Mahigpit na hawakan, igiit at ipaglaban ang pagpapasya ng milyun-milyong mamamayang tumindig, nagpakasakit, lumaban hanggang nawakasan ang diktadurang Marcos!

Labanan ang panunumbalik sa kapangyarihan ng mga Marcos at panunumbalik ng tiraniya!

Sumulong sa pakikibaka para kamtin ang demokrasyang bayan!

 

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya

Nobyembre 21, 2016

‘Surprise’ Marcos Burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani: A grave Historical Injustice

 

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The Duterte administration will be equated with bringing on the greatest historical Injustice to the Filipino people springing forth from a ruling that exemplifies Duterte’s anti-democratic and autocratic ways.

By their actions, the family of former President Ferdinand Marcos acted like the plunderer and thieves they are as they underhandedly kept the Filipino people in the dark as they capitalized on the Supreme Court decision and the backing of President Duterte to bury the body of the dictator.

Clearly, the Marcoses do not care nor do they feel any remorse for their outright betrayal of the people’s sovereign will which was actualized by their overthrow in 1986. They are mistaken if by burying the body of the dictator, they can bury the crimes along with him.

Yes, he was a soldier but according to a study conducted by the National Historical Commission, his record was ‘fraught with myths, factual inconsistencies, and lies’ such as his medals, his rank and dubious and controversial war record.

He was elected president but one who abused his powers to plunder the country’s coffers, subjected his people to countless rights abuses and to perpetuate him and his cronies into power until the people, exercising their sovereign power, relegated the Marcoses in the dust bins of history.

How can such a man be made ‘worthy of emulation for generations and generations to come’ as mandated under the RA 289, which mandates who can be qualified to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) nor be qualified under the AFP Regulations 161-375 since his record reeks of ‘moral turpitude’.

This senseless and shameful burial repeats several times the shame that the Marcos regime brought the nation, dismantles all honors and praises the world has given to the Filipino people for ending the dictatorship and opens the scars and renews the pain and injuries that the people suffered during the dark years of tyranny of the Marcos dictatorship.

We, from Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) are indignant over this betrayal of the people’s sovereign will. This is a dark day for democracy.

We are one with the growing popular movement that asserts the historical fact that Marcos was a tyrant and do not deserve to be at the LNMB. We enjoin everyone to uphold democracy and freedom and oppose all threats and violations of democratic and sovereign rights of the people. ###

 

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya

November 18, 2016

KILUSAN Slams Marcos Burial at LNMB, Brands Decision Reversal of People’s Expressed Sovereign Will

fb-share-burial-of-marcosThe decision by 9 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court favoring President Duterte’s order to inter the corpse of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. in Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) is a revision of history and reversal of the sovereign will and act of the Filipino people that resisted and overthrew the dictator.

Yes, he was a soldier but according to a study conducted by the National Historical Commission, his record was ‘fraught with myths, factual inconsistencies, and lies’ such as his medals, his rank and dubious and controversial war record.

He was elected president but one who abused his powers to plunder the country’s coffers, subjected his people to countless rights abuses and to perpetuate him and his cronies into power until the people, exercising their sovereign power, relegated the Marcoses in the dust bins of history.

How can such a man be made ‘worthy of emulation for generations and generations to come’ as mandated under the RA 289, which mandates who can be qualified to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) nor be qualified under the AFP Regulations 161-375 since his record reeks of ‘moral turpitude’.

The decision shows how much the nine justices are willing to compromise whatever sense of justice and history is left in them as well as reveal how much judicial independence has been compromised.

This senseless ruling repeats several times the shame that the Marcos regime brought the nation, dismantles all honors and praises the world has given to the Filipino people for ending the dictatorship and opens the scars and renews the pain and injuries that the people suffered during the dark years of tyranny of the Marcos dictatorship.

We, from Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) are indignant over this ruling that upholds Duterte’s anti-democratic and autocratic ways.

By rejecting the petitioners’ argument, through mere legal technicality and devoid of moral basis, the majority decision paves the way for Duterte to abuse further his authority, holding the country hostage to his campaign promise to the Marcos family in exchange for favors given.

As asserted by all the 5 dissenting principled justices, led by the Chief Justice Sereno, and echoed by many others, including declared ally of Duterte, Senate President Koko Pimentel, the majority’s ruling constitutes grave injustice to the people, especially the victims of human rights violations, and would prolong divisions among the people.

We are one with the growing popular movement that asserts the historical fact that Marcos was a tyrant and consistently opposes the burial of his carcass in LNMB.

We enjoin everyone to uphold democracy and freedom and oppose all threats and violations of democratic and sovereign rights of the people. ###

 

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya

ANALYSIS | On Duterte’s strategy: Why diplomacy can’t be a one-man show

KYOTO – Just into his fourth month as head of state, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has managed to become one of the most controversial actors on the global stage, rivalling if not eclipsing Donald Trump. His war on drugs, marred by the extra-judicial execution of drug users and peddlers, won him the title of “serial killer” on French television.  More recently, his telling US President Obama to “go to hell” and his declaration of “separation” from the United States and “alignment”with China and Russia during a state visit to Beijing has alarmed and befuddled governments in the East Asian region.

Foremost among these is the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan, which has been tightening its ties with Washington and considers the Philippines a vital element in the US-Japan strategy of encircling China and limiting its capability of projecting its maritime power.  A visit to Tokyo by Duterte earlier this week did little to reassure the Japanese.  Coming out of a meeting with Duterte, a top foreign policy official of the Japanese government told me that he found Duterte “unnecessarily provocative” towards the United States. Read more…duterte-abe

Stop the Impunity and Violence against the People’s Democratic Rights!

KILUSAN condemns police brutality against protesters and call for an independent and impartial investigation.

The violent dispersal of minorities or indigenous peoples in front of the US Embassy by state security forces is the latest in a string of violence on top of more than three thousand seven hundred killings of alleged drug related suspects.

From repeatedly mowing down protesters via a police vehicle to hurling truncheons and shields at vehicles already departing from the protest site, in singling out a gangly driver, surrounding him, beating, kicking, hitting and leaving him bloodied and bruised, can it be said that our PNP exhibited behaviour that is expected of a police force tasked with ‘serving and protecting’ its citizens?

We condemn this dastardly act in the strongest terms and demand that an impartial, independent investigation be done immediately to hold all those accountable and liable for the outcome of the violent dispersal of an action, which, according to organizers, is meant to be supportive of President Duterte’s stance of a ‘independent foreign policy’.

Is this not natural for an administration that has increasingly bared its anti-democratic tendencies with its derisive attitude towards human rights and due process since Day One?

We believe that the conduct of the state security forces which has shown uncalled for violence against its citizens raising legitimate grievances s only the logical result of a Commander in Chief which has continuously promoted violence and tolerance of the same in the name of quelling drugs and crime.

Remember that the present violent approach towards drugs and crime, which has clearly disregarded due process and the right to be presumed innocent, has already netted more than three thousand deaths including children and innocents.

By promoting a culture of impunity and violence, the emboldened state security forces has all become untouchable and Above-The-Letter-Of-the–Law types whose victims has gone beyond those suspected of drugs and crime.

Increasingly, we are seeing a state security sector that is being encouraged to clamp down on the respect, promotion and fulfillment of the people’s democratic rights especially on those that embody the assertion of such rights as in the case of progressives.

To name a few, the death of anti-coal activist Gloria Capitan (Bataan) , of labor leaders Miralles (Quezon City) and Abangan (Cebu), peasant leader Arnel Figueroa (Palawan) or IP (indigenous) leaders Anoy Pasaporte and Jimmy Saypan (Compostela Valley) are only some of the victims who are gunned down–whether by police, military, security guards, unknown gunmen, or policemen posing as ‘vigilantes’ as in the case of the anti-crime advocate Zenaida Luz (Mindoro); no one has yet been charged or thrown into jail.

This monster called impunity and violence, which President Duterte and his administration has unleashed onto the people’s democratic rights has to be reined in and put down. It has no place in a genuinely democratic government, much less in a government that is claiming to be the embodiment of change, much less a leader that is attributing his mandate as an ‘act of God’. ###

KILUSAN para sa Pambansang Demokrasya